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♪ >> hello. welcome to the "journal." i am meggin leigh with the news. >> and i am steve chaid at the business desk. >> our headlines at this hour. it remains in the grip of mass protests tonight as the government imposes a curfew and deploys the military. >> german chancellor angela merkel warrants speculator is that the bureau will be defended at all costs. >> berlin names today for german troops to start withdrawing from afghanistan. ♪ >> aged has imposed a nighttime curfew following the biggest day
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of anti-government protests since the unrest began four days ago. -- egypt has imposed a curfew. it is enforced by in cairo and other major cities until early saturday morning. this comes after security forces struggle to control huge crowds, demanding the resignation of president hosni mubarak. >> the authorities imposed a nighttime curfew throughout the country, but protests continued in in defiance of the order. the situation escalated in cairo, where demonstrators tried to storm the billings of the foreign ministry in the state tv service. clashes between police and demonstrators had continued all day. earlier, police used batons and tear gas, and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the thousands of protesters who turned out to demand an end to president mubarak's nearly 30 years in office. >> this is a corrupt regime, and we have had enough of it. >> the nobel peace laureate,
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mohamed elbaradei, joined the opposition movement. he has said he would be willing to head an interim government, but mubarak still has a grip on power at the moment. security officers are reported to have been supporters of elbaradei. the opposition figure himself is now under house arrest, but it is not clear where he is being held. the wave of anti-government protests spread throughout the country. there were clashes between demonstrators and police in many cities, including suez and alexandria. >> no one is happy with the situation anymore. there is no work here, nothing. everything is broken down. >> since before the protests began to spread, he dips police were under orders to prevent demonstrations by any means possible, including shooting at demonstrators. several hundred casualties have been reported, including some deaths. as the situation continued to
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escalate, the authorities called in the military to help deal with the protesters. but the protests appear to be gathering momentum, as more and more egyptians and demand change in the country. >> a short while ago, we got an update on the situation from our correspondent in cairo. >> what i can see right now in front of me is not very tense. there are hundreds of thousands of people in front of the streets of the state television to the police completely withdrawn. there's only military out there. three armored vehicles in front of the television building. and the young demonstrators are sitting on the tanks together with the soldiers. this is the curfew of cairo right now. they're celebrating that the army came, and the army is basically not doing anything. police completely withdrew from the area i can see here. >> having said that, what role will the army now play in this crisis, do you think?
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>> that is the interesting sent the army exactly. was it still mubarak, or was it a decision from the army against mubarak? i think the dynamic is interesting, because it does not look like it is the army with mubarak. because what i can see right now looks like demonstrators standing on the armored vehicles with the army and celebrating. so it does not look like this army is out in order to secure the regime. it just came out in order to push the police away. we're just trying to figure out who is in charge right now in this country. >> tell us more about communications. they seem to be all but shut down there in egypt, which is an unprecedented move. >> since midnight last night, we have no internet. since this morning, we have no telephone. the idea of the whole thing was to prevent people from coming out, but that obviously did not
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work. they came out. they turned to the critical mass they needed to be to overrun the police. when it became clear that the police cannot control the situation, the military came out on the streets and imposed a curfew, which nobody is listening to. they are basically celebrating right now, together with the military. for them, it seems to be over, but we do not really know what is happening on the political level. >> where does this leave president mubarak? >> well, there was a speech of mubarak announced on the television, but that was about three hours ago and nothing. absolute silence from mubarak. we do not know what is really going on. >> ok, thank you for that update from cairo. >> the united states is calling and egypt to restrain its security forces and embarked on immediate reforms. speaking in washington, secretary of state hillary clinton urged egyptian authorities to engage with
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protesters and respect their rights. >> these protests underscore the 30 grievances with an egyptian society, and the egyptian government needs to understand that violence will not make these grievances go away. >> earlier, i spoke to our washington correspondent, and he told us more about the u.s. reaction to the egyptian government crisis. >> washington is basically stuck between a rock and hard place. on the one side, the obama administration is very much for individual human rights. obama has reinforced that stands on multiplications in the last couple of weeks, including his did of the union address but on the other side, mubarak is probably the strongest ally the u.s. has in the region. so they're trying not to choose sides. that is their strategy, sort of a dual strategy.
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on the one hand, they're urging ibarra to engage in discussion with the protesters, to enforce reforms, to grant basic freedoms. on the other side, they're asking the protesters to refrain from violence. probably this dual strategy is the best they can do at the moment. >> what are washington's fears that mubarak is toppled, and what can the u.s. really do in that case? >> well, their greatest fear is that they cannot really influence events, and they do not know what is coming now. on the larger scale, with a year is that other countries might follow the tunisian and egyptian example. reduced to egypt, there are a lot of forces there. they're not as america-friendly as mubarak is. the muslim brotherhood comes in mind, which is very strong in egypt. force it like that -- if forces like that come to power after mimbar, then the balance of the region ships.
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their issues for the usb over december, on iran, and even more important, on israel, where egypt stood on the side of the united states. >> thank you for your assessment. the situation in egypt is also being watched carefully by neighboring israel. our correspondent in jerusalem told us how things were being viewed there. >> well, i think israel is very involved and very concerned with what is happening in egypt right now. my impression is that it did not really is -- expect this kind of escalation. egypt is a neighboring country that has common borders. of course, there is an interest that the country is favored. egypt in itself is a connection to the arab world. there's a peace treaty, even though you're talking about this. egypt plays a very important role in the peace process. of course, a discussion is here now, what will happen next if the regime mubarak will make you fall? and the concern here is actually
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that it might put some more power on the muslim brotherhood. that might have some consequence on the situation in gaza. but overall, there is concern that the already very unstable situation in the whole region here would further deteriorate. and of course, there's much concern in israel about that, and they have watched very closely what will happen here in the next coming hours and days. >> that was the report from jerusalem. let's check in with steve. the german chancellor carried a strong message with certain dogs, switzerland. >> yes, a very clear message. she took center stage at the world economic forum in davos on friday evening and struck out strongly in defense of the bureau, the single currency is the euro. if it fails, europe fails. she says the eurozone debt crisis is the biggest single threat to european prosperity. >> the chancellor used hurt davos platform to address the
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eurozone debt crisis to the world's business and political elite. like french president nicolas sarkozy a day before, she delivered a passionate defense of the single currency. >> and the euro is our currency. the bureau is much more than a currency. it is the europe of today. i have said this before, but if the euro fails, then europe fails, too. >> merkel pledged to protect the currency to the health. but she also said the debt crisis shows the eu needs to coordinate economic policies more closely. her message to the international community was to defend free trade. >> perhaps the biggest worry in the wake of the crisis is that we have begun to see protectionism creeping in. free trade is perhaps the easiest and most just way to encourage growth around the world. that is like closing a deal in the doha round of trade talks is
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incredibly important. >> merkel then joined in discussion with the world trade organization director general. the chancellor stressed, once again, that the next round of trade liberalization should not be allowed to fail. >> the u.s. economy grew in the final three months of last year, as a stronger consumer spending added momentum to the recovery. figures released on friday by the view of economic analysis showed growth at an annualized rate of 3.2% and confirmed that last year marked a solid turnaround from 2009, when the u.s. economy shrank. but the rise was smaller than the 3.6% growth economists had been expecting, and reaction from analysts west said it after the data was released. in the background, the u.s. is still facing a huge and growing budget deficit. analysts and ratings agencies are beginning to focus more attention on that now. >> many americans have been
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hitting the stores again. in some corners, president obama's tax cuts that had something of a trickle-down effect. but the downside to that particular move is that the budget has been moving even further out of kilter. over the past few years, the budget deficit has continued to widen. by the end of last year, it had reached $1.30 trillion annually. and there is no major improvement in sight for either this year or the next. and the rich have tended to invest their tax rebates in stocks rather than goods, which is of little help to the real economy. now the international monetary fund is urging watching tend to tackle its debt problems before financial markets finally lose patience with the world's biggest economy. >> onto the market, european shares give up their gains for the week on friday, as unrest in egypt created fears of a domino effect in the region. and those u.s. gdp figures to
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come in below expectations. our correspondent sent us this summary of friday's trading from the frankfurt stock exchange. >> at the end of the week, everybody is watching the u.s. economic growth. the economy is gathering speed but less than expected. disappointing in dragging down the decks. but throughout the week, the dax performed well. disappointing numbers from u.s. companies spoil the mood, only volkswagen was on top. but demand for german cars remains high. because that the recovery in industrial countries in the ongoing boom in emerging markets. >> we will stay in frankfurt for a closer look at the numbers. the dax went into the weekend 0.7% lower at 7102. blue chips on the euro stoxx 50 finishing at 2954. in new york, the dow jones also
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down, 1.3% lower. on the currency markets, the you're trading at a value of $1.30 cents12. china says it will help boost global consumption of goods by doubling imports over the next five years. major industrialized nations, such as the united states, have urged china to help rebalance the global economy by boosting domestic consumption and cutting its reliance on exports. the pledge to increase imports was made by chinese commerce minister and the world economic forum in davos, and also said chinese companies would be encouraged to expand abroad. that is your look at business. >> thank you for that. the suicide bombing at a supermarket and the afghan capital kabul has killed at least nine people. the blast tore through a supermarket near the british embassies in the center of the cities. three foreigners were among the
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dead. two insurgent groups of claimed responsibility for the attack. observers say violence in afghanistan is at its worst levels since the overthrow and taliban in 2001. the german parliament has voted to extend the mandate for the bundeswehr commission in afghanistan until february 2012. it also approved a conditional withdrawal of the first of its troops in december. the passage of the bill was certain, with the support of the opposition social democrats, but the measures that less support than expected. >> a majority of rule makers voted to extend germany's mended in afghanistan by one year. for the first time, the government laid out a timetable for the withdrawal of the first german forces. they should come home by the end of the year. but that depends on the situation in afghanistan. >> irresponsible handover is more important than keeping
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deadlines. the withdrawal of our troops must be weighed against concrete steps forward on the ground in afghanistan. >> the opposition social democrats joined the majority in extending the mandate. they have been pushing government for a withdrawal date and speedy transfer over to afghan forces. that party opposes a german presence in afghanistan entirely. >> 28% of germans supported the government's policies back in 2010. today, it is only 15%. i ask you to consider to you are representing here. >> but there was agreement that civilian aid workers should remain in afghanistan for aid in the country's reconstruction, even after the last german soldier has departed. >> i will be back after a short break with more on this situation in egypt and the background to the unrest. so do not go away. ♪
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>> all eyes are on egypt as the situation intensified against president hosni mubarak. demonstrators again defied a government ban and turned up for mass demonstrations on friday, demanding his resignation. internationally, mubarak is seen as the voice of moderation in the middle east. egypt, after all, was the first arab country to sign a peace deal with israel. western leaders and view him as a key ally in the region. this is it deemed international -- this has gained international support, even though it home, his policies have not been that liberal. >> hosni mubarak is one of the longest serving leaders in the arab world. for three decades, he has ruled the middle east's most populous
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country virtually unchallenged. with almost unbridled power. in his foreign policy, mubarak has been progressive, working for peace between israel and the palestinians. egypt has had relatively positive relations with israel. after israeli forces withdrew from sinai and taba in the 1980's. >> we look forward to the days ahead with hope and optimism. we are confident that both the palestinians and the israeli people deserve to live in peace and dignity. >> mubarak was also present at the latest round of peace talks in washington. internationally, he is respected as a mediator and an ally in the battle against islamic extremism. stability in his country is seen as crucial for the entire region. for these reasons, governments
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have been reluctant to criticize him, preferring to keep him on their side. domestically, mubarak is a hard- liner. emergency laws have been in place for the whole of his presidency, making demonstrations illegal and allowing it to clamp down on political opponents. human rights activists say the police and judiciary are brutal and corrupt. it is thought there are some 10,000 political prisoners. the electoral process is a very tightly controlled. the most important opposition organization, the muslim brotherhood, is banned from open political activity. >> we're looking forward to free and fair elections, under the supervision of the electoral commission and the egyptian people. we guarantee that as many people as possible will be able to cast their vote. >> there was an outcry after mubarak's party won a landslide
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victory in last november's ballot, with serious doubts raised about the independence of the electoral commission. the egyptian people have become increasingly unhappy with their government. the country has high unemployment, and many people live in party, while mubarak and his inner circle live in luxury. dissatisfaction has now started to boil over. friday's protests are the biggest the government has confronted. it suggests that mubarak's iron grip on power may be slipping. >> two-thirds of the people in egypt are said to be under the age of 30. some 90% of them have no jobs and no prospects. rampant unemployment and poverty, combined with years of repression, have led to the latest anger spilling out onto the streets. egyptians are fed up, hoping this latest action will usher in much desired change.
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>> the protesters in egypt have one central demand, down with mubarak and his regime. election-rigging, oppression of the opposition, and torture. egyptians, it appears, are no longer prepared to tolerate the government's tactics. >> we're not here to write it. we just want to express our opinion, and that is injustice must end. >> but egypt's social project -- problems are also fueling the demonstrations. the population has doubled in the past 30 years, but work is very hard to come by. even for those who are well- educated. >> there are simply no jobs. it is very difficult for graduates to find a position. many are unemployed. >> discontent is a widespread, because many egyptians are very poor. about half the population lives below the poverty line, on less than 1.50 euros today.
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>> people cannot afford to pay their way because incomes are so low. >> sometimes we just eat bread, because we can no longer afford rice. >> because inflation is rampant, a growing number of egyptians feel that living standards are under threat. >> i am a lawyer. i earn the equivalent of 60 euros a month, and my apartment costs 75. what should i do? we need change. >> a broad spectrum of the population supports the protests, which are not, as the government said, orchestrated by the islamist muslim brotherhood. but the brotherhood is watching the events closely. >> it will accumulate and accumulate and lead to explosion. we're facing big explosion. >> it seems the explosion has only just united bit more freedom or greater influence for the internet. which part egypt will take is
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unclear. >> let's get some more analysis on the situation. for that, i am joined by an middle east expert from the swp german institute for international and security affairs. thank you for being with us. the protests still lack a political leader. you think that mohammad el- baradei as the man to lead the transition? >> well, he could be the man to lead the transition, and that is the main difference between the situation in egypt now and tunisia sundays ago. they do have an alternative. they do have a credible alternative, and a person who is highly reputed in the international arena. and that is -- that could serve as an encouragement to the opposition in egypt. >> until now, the police have been dealing with the protests. what role do you think the army can play? >> well, the army does play a role behind the scenes.
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we have seen in tunisia that the loss of support, army support, led to the downfall of the regime. as it seems, the army still stands behind hosni mubarak, and if the situation deteriorates, it is possible that the army will intervene. as it seems right now, it is more likely that it will intervene on the side of hosni mubarak, rather than against him. >> why do you think that the main opposition group, the muslim brotherhood, has kept such a low profile during these protests? >> well, the muslim brotherhood is extremely weekend. -- is extremely weakened, and it has suffered by the government for a long time. i think the security services are now concentrating on keeping them down. secondly, of course, international partners of egypt
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fear a takeover of the muslim brotherhood. and the muslim brotherhood leadership knows that very well, and i think that is the main reason why they keep waiting. >> do you think this current situation could lead to extremists, perhaps gaining ground in egypt? >> well, that is very likely. although we do not really know how much popular support they have. elections in egypt have turned less in recent years. so we do not really know about the popular support of the muslim brotherhood, but it is at least around 20% to 30% of the voters. so if there is any direction towards democracy in the country, egypt will term more islamic, and more islamist, and possibly more radical with regard to its relations with israel and the west. >> we thank you very much for
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your analysis. with that, we wrap up the "journal" at this hour. thanks for joining us. captioned by the national captioning institute ♪
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>> hinojosa: from the world of suzie wong to the joy luck club, she's played everything from a bond girl to the most powerful woman in china. legendary actor tsai chin. i'm maria hinojosa. this is one on one. tsai chin, you are the grand dame of theater, of film. you have been in the james bond movie you only live twice and casino royale, the interpreter, memoirs of a geisha. probably most people will remember you from the movie the joy luck club. and because... in preparation for this interview i watched the joy luck club now three or
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four times. what an amazing movie. the joy luck club really was an extraordinary movie. but for you as an actress, when it was, you know, a sliver of this extraordinary career... but what did that movie mean for you? >> i think first of the movie as a threshold, you know? it was the first movie ever that 99.6%, or whatever, they're all asians. this has never happened before. and it became a hit. not a, you know, blockbuster hit, but a hit. and so that shows that a lot of asians do have talent. and therefore, in a way, there's no excuse to say, "well, that's very difficult." for me, of course, it's life changing, because i was living in london then, and the hollywood door was suddenly opened to me. and people start... agents, for instance, you know, want to
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represent me. and by that time, i was already, you know, no chicken anymore, small young chicken, no chick. you know, i'm in my 60's, early 60's. and so they said, "well, you can't commute, you know, like robert redford or anthony hopkins. you have to come to hollywood." so like a fool, and i'm a risk-taker so i came to hollywood. >> hinojosa: so even... because what people don't know about you is that you have this extraordinary career in the theater, and then you... you know, you make this hollywood movie. it's something of a hit. but you basically say, "okay, now i'm going to move to hollywood"? >> yeah. >> hinojosa: wow. and how did it go? >> well, you know, i could, you know, be a total failure, but the minute i arrived, somebody gave me a huge television series, okay?
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pilot, one hour. >> hinojosa: okay. >> what is it? i remember. the guy who made magnum... >> hinojosa: p.i. >> huge, you know? and i didn't to go and see the suits, you know? >> hinojosa: you call them the suits? >> all the people that, you know, you have to go through to get a television series. so i thought that every actor gets a television series. >> hinojosa: just by arriving into hollywood? >> like, you know, that they... yeah, if they like you. so... but unfortunately, the... >> hinojosa: the pilot? >> the pilot didn't get... what you call it? >> hinojosa: picked up. >> yeah, picked up. and in fact, it's, you know, one of the few pilots of his that didn't get picked up. so, i mean, in a way it's quite good because i would probably be insufferable if... more insufferable. >> hinojosa: but now, people will also see your face, and they're going to say, "wait a second.
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i know her from grey's anatomy." >> yeah, i mean, people in... the nicest part is not when people come and say "i'm your fan." in my profession, you don't know whether they mean it or not. but if you're, like, queueing up or something, some woman with a child, not in the business really like you, you know, like your acting, i find that very gratifying. and the other day i was having a bad day, and i was driving, and i was scolded by a policewoman for, you know, stopping at the red light too early. so the window was open, and suddenly a cyclist come up, obviously a film buff, you know, and, "oh," he said, "i really like your work." >> hinojosa: oh, my god. >> i said, "you made my day." >> hinojosa: sometimes people don't realize it-- actors love it when real people come and say... >> that's true. >> hinojosa: and i think in the movie, to go back to the joy luck club for a
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second, because for me, now watching it again with my daughter, who is 11, it's one of those movies that you really... it should be required viewing for all american moms and their daughters, because it's such a universal story. and i know that you have done so much, but for a second i want you to stay with the joy luck club, because in that movie your character is given away as a child bride and loses all of her power. so as a woman who is so incredibly powerful in her life and in her career, what was that like for you to tap into that place of being a young chinese girl who is essentially powerless? >> well, you know, i chose to... i asked if i could play auntie lindo when i didn't even know... when i was not familiar with the script, because it was very instinctive.
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but there are a couple of things about auntie lindo that i liked. first of all, she loved her mother. >> hinojosa: oh, adored her mother. >> i loved my mother. and when we did the famous scene in the beauty parlor, we did it for a long time-- a week or something, you know. and i asked them to play a line before we go into the scene, every time. something to do with my mother. so therefore the emotion will come automatically. and the other thing is, you know, auntie lindo is not a very... not an easy person. >> hinojosa: no. >> which i can identify with. and therefore i think she's probably quite interesting. >> hinojosa: you like tough women. >> i like tough women, being one
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myself. yeah. i'm no shrinking violet. >> hinojosa: you are not a shrinking violet. you were the first person... let me get this right. werre you the first chinese person to study at the royal academy of dramatic arts? >> yes. >> hinojosa: the very, very first chinese... >> very first, and not only that. when i came out, i was suddenly... suzie wong and flower drum song both came to england and i got both. >> hinojosa: you were... >> i got both, okay? >> hinojosa: you were suzie wong, the suzie wong? >> i was also cast as... i was cast as the lead in flower drum song. so i had to choose between the two. how many chances does an asian actress have? and the two biggest show comes to town and i can't do both. anyway, first of all, i did not play suzie wong as a victim. i never play people as a victim.
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it's just by instinct. >> hinojosa: you don't like to play the victim. so oftentimes there is a perception of asian women as the victims. >> yes. >> hinojosa: and you basically are saying, "that's not our story whatsoever." >> well, you have to... you have to trade in a sense. i'll give you a very recent example. i did television, which... the scene is... the woman has many scenes. and they want to shoot it the first day, and lots and lots of dialogue. and it's pretty... now, you know, people are much better. they don't stereotype that much. but then i notice there are two lines which i don't want this woman to say. so i got there the first day. they were very worried. they thought i couldn't remember all these lines. as it happens, my memory is still intact.
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so i sat the producer and director... no, producer and writer down. she is a woman, which makes a lot of difference. i sat her down, and i said, "don't worry about the lines. i will now say it to you." i said the four scenes-- "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," said it to you. oh, everybody got very relieved. "okay, okay." i said, "except, can i ask... can i request? i don't want to say these two lines, because i don't think it's very good for this character." >> hinojosa: you... in your history as an actress, there came a point when you said, "i will not play any stereotypical asian women roles." and what happened at that point? >> well, when that got to that, i had, first of all, lost all my money, okay? i mean, my life is full of drama, let's face it. and then i reached 40.
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and when an actress reach 40-- i think for a man, when he reaches 50-- that is a very difficult time, because you are no longer young and pretty. >> hinojosa: and people... you know, you were... you still are a sex symbol. >> many... yes, i was. >> hinojosa: there's an opening shot in the movie you only liveh sean connery. this is the 1960's, and you are in bed with sean connery, living it up. >> jessica: not only that-- suzie wang was a sex symbol. >> hinojosa: huge sex symbol. >> so everybody, you know, wore the same hair. and i was the first to wear fishnet stockings, all right? >> hinojosa: oh, my god. >> and everybody start to wear fishnet stockings in england, anyway. so yes, in a way, yeah, if you're a sex symbol, but i think for all actresses, after 40, do
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you play mother or do you not play mother? you know, so that's when i... because of that, i went to university. >> hinojosa: you went back to school? >> yeah. >> hinojosa: and got a degree... >> because i want more power. i want to find... you have to change gear. you have to change gear. >> hinojosa: what did you go to study in the university? >> drama. and then i taught at tufts. >> hinojosa: oh, i understand. >> and they are very... they are very unusual, because i didn't have a b.a. i said "i can't do a b.a." i said, "i'm too old." who wants to do... oh, i don't know. you're supposed to do four subjects. >> hinojosa: when you are teaching young actors, as such a powerful woman as yourself, what is the message you want to give to actors? >> strength. >> hinojosa: but it's so hard. so many of these young people feel like "i'm not sure." >> that's when... i tell you, it was the most rewarding time of my life teaching these kids. i love to see these kids, you know, pimple and everything, and
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not sure of themselves... >> hinojosa: and this is right here at tufts? >> yes. >> hinojosa: tufts university. >> after one year. i said, "i know you're not going to be actors, but i want you to at the end speak one speech perfect." and i said to them very... because it's very popular, this course. not... i have something to do with it, but only little. because they think it's very easy, you see? acting is very easy, you can get four credits. and i say to them, "first of all, i'm going to treat you just like professionals. everything's to do with professionalism. for instance, you come in, you don't throw your clothes all over the place. why? because when you start, you will be starting in some poor theater. you've got to look after your own costume." >> hinojosa: oh, i love this. i want to take a theater class with you. >> and then i told them, "i have to be honest. it may be politically incorrect.
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the last two places will be reserved for an african-american and for asian. i don't care what you..." and they loved me for being very honest, you see? and i always remember once, there was a black... he was like 35 years old. he still talks about me. and he's always falling off seats, you know? and i said, "what are you trying to do?" and i just teach them just to be strong. >> hinojosa: i want to talk to you about... because for me, really, this has been one of the most fun preparations for an interview, because it took me into your life. and you wrote an amazing memoir, daughter from shanghai. and your memoir talks about the fact that you have a dad who was a star, a huge star in china of the peking opera. and your mom... >> my mom was very rich and eloped with him. in the '20s-- can you imagine? >> hinojosa: breaking all kinds
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of stereotypes. >> and she could survive. she would have been... she was disinherited. she could have been, you know... end up terrible. but my god, she became... you know, so she can't act for nuts, but... >> hinojosa: but what happens... you have an extraordinary life. your parents decide to send you to great britain. your sister is studying at columbia university in new york city. this is in, like, the 1930's, '40s? >> my sister was the first... my eldest sister was the first student that went to america because of the japanese compensation. that money, you know. before my sister's generation, when you went to... chinese are regarded as either coolies or laundrymen. she was the first generation... you know, there is a joke, "knock, knock, there is a chinaman, no laundry tonight." "knock, knock."
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my sister's generation, "knock, knock, there is a chinese. are you doctor so-and-so?" so there is this joke, you know? >> hinojosa: but i want to take you to... because, you know, your life, again, it's an extraordinary drama. but part of the drama is that you leave, you and your brothers and sisters, you leave, and your mom and dad stay in china. and then china goes under the process of a revolution, and your parents are still there. your dad is still a huge star. but then the cultural revolution happens in 1966. you're already living on this side. and this is the part that's extraordinary for me. because for eight years... >> ten. >> hinojosa: ten years, you lose total contact with your mom and dad. >> the bamboo curtain, so-called, came down. there is no communication. >> hinojosa: and it's not like you couldn't pick up the phone and call your mom. >> there is no phone anymore. their houses... just like dr. zhivago, the house is occupied by everybody else, and they
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live in the... in the servants' quarters. >> hinojosa: what's it like for you to know that your mom and dad essentially both... both of them passed as a result of the cultural revolution? >> well, first of all, you didn't know, okay? you didn't know what happened. because until... at the end, when it opened up, you know. secondly, i used to have terrible nightmares. nightmares of my mother, giving her glass of water and the glass... iced water, full of ice, and the ice was made of glass and choked her. all these sort of dreams. and it did affect my life. on the best side, perhaps-- i tried to see the best-- made me better actor because, you know, everything i do and feel is
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freely from the depth of my stomach, you know? >> hinojosa: you found out your dad passed by reading the papers? >> my father, find out by reading the new york times he's still alive. because madam mao uses him every time things are quiet as the main... put him onstage... >> hinojosa: scapegoat. >> yeah, yeah. and my mother, of course, already died, beaten many times by the red guards. >> hinojosa: and you lived through it, and then you decide... >> well, ironically, when they were doing it, i had the greatest time in england, don't forget, because it was the '60s. >> hinojosa: so you're having an amazing life as an artist. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: as a human being. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: and your parents are living in hell. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: many, many years later, you are invited back as the grand dame, now seen again as the grand actress. you're invited back to china to teach. >> yeah.
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>> hinojosa: so now you're teaching chinese young people... >> yeah, because they didn't have any university for ten years. they didn't even know who arthur miller is. they don't know who pinter is. the only person they knew, brecht, because brecht is east germany. at that time-- i can't do it now-- i gave a lecture for three hours. and at that time i could because i just came out of university, i am full of the human condition and this drama terminology, which i can't do anymore, you know. >> hinojosa: so at that point, did you imagine... did you think, "look, hollywood is on my radar, hollywood..." because now you live in hollywood. >> no, that was before hollywood. >> hinojosa: exactly, but were you thinking at all like hollywood might be something that... >> no, i never think hollywood might be something ever, because you have to understand, my... the actors in england, my time, they may want to go to hollywood... >> hinojosa: but they would never say so. >> they would never say so.
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it's like really selling yourself. you see, so you never think about hollywood. and you never think about getting awards. now, of course, there is an award every year, right? i mean, not every year. every day, every day. >> hinojosa: every month. >> no, every day. you never think of getting awards. me? you know, little old me who is an ethnic actress? so, i mean, go to hollywood? oh, no, i wouldn't possibly sell myself. >> hinojosa: but in the end, hollywood has... if you... >> in the end, i mean, a lot english actors also in the end came to hollywood, all right? and new york actors who tried to be artists, they have to earn some money before they retire. so i always think china... china gave me my roots, and england nurtured me, and hollywood... america rewarded me.
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>> hinojosa: interesting. so at this point in your career... >> you mean at this point? >> hinojosa: yeah, no. right now. i guess the reason i'm thinking about it is because again after seeing a movie like the joy luck club... oh, by the way, i did take out memoirs of a geisha and watched that as well, in which you are also extraordinary. >> well, nobody ever recognize... which is my intention, you know? >> hinojosa: that they don't recognize you from... >> nobody recognize me. >> hinojosa: well, everybody should go back and watch memoirs of a geisha. you did such a wonderful job. but when you look at hollywood, the fact that... the joy luck club came out in what, '97, more or less? late 1990's. it's been about ten years. >> no, '91, isn't it? >> hinojosa: really? so... >> no, '93. >> hinojosa: so we haven't had another movie with asian-american... asian... >> no. >> hinojosa: what needs to happen? >> because, you see, after joy luck club, everybody said, "oh, yeah, let's do more," you know? and then, you know,
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you forget about it, right? and also another thing which amused me too, you know, you're hot only literally for a year. >> hinojosa: one year. >> yeah, i mean, literally. because next... because there is somebody else coming to it. and so... it's getting better, because the younger generation. and also, i think, you know, it's a demand and supply thing. in the beginning, there was no demand. and therefore, there was no supply. and it's a vicious circle this way. so the young actors now are better trained, i hope. there are still a lot of them here not stage-trained, which i find it really... because you don't last very long if you don't. i mean, sandra oh, for instance, she is a stage-trained actress. >> hinojosa: and you know what's so funny? i was with sandra oh maybe a year and a half before grey's anatomy. and she was a little bit
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frustrated as an asian actress... she's canadian. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: she was saying, you know, "in the united states it feels like you are always seen through the prism of you're an asian actor." she said in canada it wasn't that way. and she was frustrated with not being able to kind of push through. well, now, sandra oh is a huge star. >> so we have her. we have lucy liu. but also we need a lot of people, you know, like latino. we need people behind it. >> hinojosa: yeah. >> behind it. but i will also-- at the risk of being unpopular, which i often become-- i think we can always blame other people, but asians, especially chinese-- i'll just say chinese-- do not support their own artists enough. >> hinojosa: when you said that, i... and you do. you say it very clearly. you say asian people in the united states are not supportive
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of asian actors, asians in the arts. >> not the young people. they're doing it. they're very hungry. i'm talking about my generation. >> hinojosa: what do you think that's about? >> well, two things. one is they are busy surviving. >> hinojosa: yeah. >> working, you know? the other thing is-- this is my theory and i am sticking to it-- chinese have an innate disrespect for artists. >> hinojosa: i know, and when you when you said that i was like... >> because historically, an educated man, a cultured man, has to know how to paint, has to know how to write poetry, how to be... he has to know everything, but he does not earn a living by it. how does he earn a living? by being an official. or being a hermit. if you are earning a living doing these things, you are not an artist, you are a craftsman.
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and craftsmen are treated quite differently. so even my father... my father was one of the greatest actors. of course, famous, blah, blah, blah. but in the end, even when i was a child, i would get children say, "and who do you think you are? you're just an actor's daughter." >> hinojosa: (gasps) >> but this is also the same, like 300 years ago in europe. >> hinojosa: well, let me ask you about... because we've got another minute and a half left. but i want to ask you about your next amazing project. because far be it for anyone to think tsai chin is not doing any work. because you are working hard. you spent a year filming in china a huge series called the dream of the red chamber. and it's a 50-hour series. will we ever see it in the united states? >> well, you can see it probably eventually when it comes on channel 18, that for sure.
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and it will be subtitled eventually. >> hinojosa: and that experience of working, again, in china now... you know, kind of closure for you? >> yeah. and it's like... i am very sort of kind of boast, "now i will be in chinese television history." >> hinojosa: huge. >> and i think joy luck club will at least let me have a foot in american asian television. and i would like to put last plug that my book the daughter of shanghai will be a play written by... has written by david henry hwang. >> hinojosa: which is extraorinary. and will we see this on broadway? is that what we're hoping? >> i think hopefully off broadway at least. it's not commercial enough to get to broadway. it's not a musical. >> hinojosa: we could dream. >> yeah, we can dream. >> hinojosa: tsai chin, it has been a real honor to have you on my show. >> thank you for having me. >> hinojosa: you are an extraordinary role model, and we
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love you for being strong. thank you so much. >> hinojosa: continue the conversation at captioned by media access group at wgbh
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Sino Tv Early Evening News
PBS January 28, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm PST


TOPIC FREQUENCY Hinojosa 75, Egypt 17, Hollywood 15, China 11, U.s. 9, Afghanistan 8, Israel 7, Washington 5, England 5, Cairo 5, Us 4, Europe 4, Mubarak 3, New York 3, United States 3, Sandra 3, Suzie Wong 2, Shanghai 2, Tunisia 2, America 2
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